Israel Update

August 21, 2013

"God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted." Ps 46: 5-6

SECOND ROUND OF ISRAELI- PALESTINIAN PEACE TALKS END IN JERUSALEM: The second round of talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams ended last Wednesday after five hours of discussion. Another meeting is scheduled in the coming days. On Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem following a visit with PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Ban said Israel has legitimate security concerns and should not have to live in perpetual fear. He also admitted that the organization he heads has had a bias against Israel. “Unfortunately, because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel has been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias,” said Ban. (Ha'aretz/J.Post)

ISRAEL RETALIATES AFTER SYRIA SHELLS HIT GOLAN: The Israeli army fired into Syria after shells from the neighboring country hit the Israeli side of the Golan Heights on Saturday. IDF Radio reported the Israeli attack demolished a Syrian military position. Israelis remain concerned it is only a matter of time before the situation along the border escalates. It should also be noted that both sides in the Syrian civil war are enemies of the Jewish state, and would presumably have no problem bloodying Israel's nose as part of their conflict with one another. The regime of embattled dictator Bashar Assad is still officially at war with Israel, and has for decades sheltered and aided anti-Israel terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. The Syrian rebels are composed largely of Islamist groups, many affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, both of which ultimately seek the destruction of the "Zionist regime." As the fighting inches ever closer to the border, the situation is understandably very tense, and a cause for great concern in Israel. Also on Saturday, seven wounded Syrians were taken into Israel for medical care. Dozens of Syrians, including women and children, have been treated in hospitals in northern Israel since the beginning of the uprising in their country. (Israel Today/INN) Continue to pray for the protection of Israel’s northern borders.

ISRAEL’S MESSAGE ON EGYPT: KEEP CAIRO FROM FALLING, THEN WORRY ABOUT DEMOCRACY: Israel's message to Washington and key European capitals regarding Egypt is that the key issue now is simply keeping the country from falling apart. "The name of the game right now is not democracy," one official said Sunday, relaying Israel's position on the Egyptian turmoil. "The name of the game is that there needs to be a functioning state. After you put Egypt back on track, then talk about restarting the democratic process there." The official said that in the present reality the only actor that can assert authority in Egypt and keep it from descending into chaos is the military. "If you dismiss that actor, Egypt goes the way of Syria, Tunisia, and Libya," he said. "Like it or not, no one else can run the country right now." The official said that Jerusalem was conveying this message to governments interested in hearing the evaluation of Israel – which, unlike the US or the European states, neighbor Egypt and will be impacted directly by the developments there. The official said it was one thing to sit in Washington and Brussels and do "dry" evaluations, and quite another to sit on Egypt's border and face the prospect of a country descending into anarchy. At least 173 people were killed Saturday in Egypt in heavy fighting between security forces and the Muslim Brotherhood, as the country descends into a state that could be called civil war. (J.Post)

EGYPT’S CHRISTIANS ATTACK WESTERN MEDIA COVERAGE: The Egyptian Coptic church has released a statement backing the country's military-backed government, and slamming the western media for its coverage of the violence in Egypt, which has killed hundreds of people. Referring to perceived sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood by western media outlets, the statement called on the West to "read objectively the facts of events, and not give international and political cover to these terrorists and bloody groups." Since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi, the deposed president’s Islamist supporters have been scapegoating the Coptic community. Its leader, Pope Tawadros II, publicly supported the military overthrow, and a number of Christians have been murdered, and scores of churches, schools and Christian-owned houses and businesses have been torched, ransacked and vandalized in past weeks. (INN) Pray for the increasingly besieged Christian community in Egypt.

POLL: MAJORITY OF ISRAELIS DON’T THINK PEACE IS POSSIBLE: An overwhelming majority - almost 80 percent - of Israeli Jews believe a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority is impossible, an opinion poll found on Friday. Asked about the government's decision to release long-serving terrorists alongside the resumed peace talks, 77.5% of respondents said they opposed it and just 14.2 percent said they were in favor. Israel released 26 terrorists last Wednesday, hours before peace talks began in Jerusalem, the first of 104 terrorists slated for release in stages depending on progress in  the negotiations. A full 62.9% of respondents said they would rather the government have announced a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria than release terrorists, many of whom were convicted of murder. (INN)

OPERATION ‘TERRORIST RELEASE’ GETS UNDER WAY: The 26 terrorists Israel freed as a “gesture” to the Palestinian Authority were taken out of the Ayalon Prison last Tuesday evening. They were released around midnight, in an attempt on the part of Israel to prevent a repeat of jubilant scenes. Such murderers celebrate their crimes and imminent freedom by cheering, laughing and flashing victory signs. Officials in the PA expressed outrage at Israel's decision to hand over the terrorists late at night. (Arutz-7)

SHAKED: KERRY IS HYPOCRITICAL, GAMBLING WITH ISRAELI LIVES: US Secretary of State John Kerry is putting lives at risk by gambling on the peace process, Bayit Yehudi chairwoman Ayelet Shaked wrote in a letter to him on Thursday. “By forcing Israel to capitulate to terrorism by releasing murdering terrorists with so much blood on their hands, you are not only being extremely hypocritical, but are actually dabbling in experimentation and gambling by putting me and my children’s lives at risk.” Shaked stressed that the US would never dream of releasing such prisoners if it was their own citizens murdered. She said Israelis would pay the price of releasing convicted murderers, not Kerry. “How will you carry the burden of the terrible price toward which you are leading us?” she wrote. “You forced us into peace talks during a period of time that the entire Middle East is in chaos. By doing so, you have foolishly put us in an impossible situation in which we cannot and will not make any concessions.” Shaked suggested that Kerry “perform his job in a much more effective and relevant fashion by focusing his attention on Syria and Egypt, where people are actually being slaughtered.” (INN)

US DELIVERERS MORE REWARDS TO THE PA: Negotiations with Israel are paying off already for the Palestinian Authority. The US consul general in Jerusalem, Michael Ratney, signed an agreement Sunday with PA caretaker prime minister Rami Hamdallah, according to which the US will pay the PA $148 million. Ratney said the US would continue to support the "Palestinian people" and assist the PA's efforts to develop state institutions. In August, US President Obama waived restrictions set by Congress on sending money to the PA, in order to bolster the PA leadership after it resumed talks with Israel. Since 1994 the PA has received about $4.3 billion. (INN)

WORLD CRITICIZES ISRAEL OVER NEW CONSTRUCTION: It was the world vs. Israel last week, as the US, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations chose to slam the Jewish State over its plans to build much needed new homes in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki made it clear that US policy had not changed. "We don't accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity," she said. Russia described the Israeli move as "a counterproductive step that complicates the peace talks." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his long-standing opposition to continued Israeli construction. The EU also denounced the proposal for construction in Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem beyond the 1949 Armistice Line. A spokesman for PM Netanyahu rejected the criticism and insisted that the new units were "in areas that will remain part of Israel in any possible future peace agreement. It changes nothing," he added. (Arutz-7) “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.” Isa 54:2-3

Blessings from Jerusalem,

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff 


As international speakers and messengers of the Good News through music, Barry and Batya Segal are at the forefront of what God is doing in the present day nation of Israel. With strong ties in both the nations and Jerusalem, the Segals are weaving the deepest roots of our biblical heritage together with the fresh Spirit-filled worship of today to create their rich harmony of Scripture and song.

The Segals have a vast vision for God's purposes in the nations and to the people of Israel. In fact, their longing to help rebuild Israel both spiritually and physically inspired them to pioneer the non-profit charity organization, Vision for Israel and The Joseph Storehouse. This arm of their ministry focuses on assisting the poor and needy, widows and orphans, and reaching out to the new Jewish immigrants coming into the land of Israel. Vision 's most challenging project to date is "The Joseph StorehouseŽ", humanitarian aid center, located in the hills of Jerusalem. The Joseph Storehouse functions as a channel of blessing to all of Israel, Jewish and Arab, through the gathering and distribution of emergency medical supplies, food, clothing, and other basic life necessities. USA office contact info: Vision for Israel, PO Box 7743, Charlotte NC 28241, 866-351-0075. The Segal's web site is


Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.    


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